Hawks Stumble in Road Trip Finale
With a depleted lineup the Hawks needed to be extra sharp on Wednesday night as they faced the upstart Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Atlanta was playing without Al Horford and Joe Johnson, and on top of that the team was wrapping up its second five-game, ten-day road trip in the past month. Their was little margin for error, and once that margin was exceeded the Hawks quickly dug themselves a hole, falling by a final score of 100-80.
Things started well enough for the Hawks as they raced out to a 16-14 advantage with 4:20 remaining in the first quarter. Atlanta then turned the ball over seven times and missed all four of their field goal attempts to finish the quarter. The error-filled stretch allowed the Knicks to go on a 16-0 run and build a commanding lead that they would not surrender.
“I think we were a little careless with the ball in the first half,” Josh Smith commented after the game. “We turned the ball over too many times and it seemed like every time we did that, they capitalized on it.”
Like many of the Hawks players, Coach Drew wants to learn from this game, turn the page, and try and head into the All-Star break on a high note with a home win on Thursday.
“It’s been a long road trip,” Drew said. “We have to go home now and play Orlando (Magic) tomorrow night. Hopefully we can put this behind us and get ready for tomorrow night.”
New York jumped all over the shorthanded Hawks early and cruised to a 99-82 win at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday … Atlanta was again without the services of Al Horford and Jason Collins, as well as Joe Johnson for the first time this year.
MORE INTERVIEWS: COACH DREW
– Atlanta shot .395 from the floor for the game, .276 from three-point range and .556 from the stripe, while committing 25 turnovers.
– The Hawks trailed by 30 early in the second half but got back in it, cutting the deficit to 13 … The Knicks pushed the lead back to 22 heading to the final frame and weren’t threatened in the final 12 minutes.
– Jeff Teague led the Hawks with 18 points, Willie Green had 16 and Josh Smith 13.
– Jeremy Lin (9 assists) and Steve Novak (5 3FGs) each had 17 points to lead New York.
– The Knicks outrebounded the Hawks 47-40 and shot .475 from the field (.364 from distance) on the night.
– The Hawks are back in action tomorrow vs. Orlando at Philips Arena (7:30pm on SportSouth HD, 680 AM and 93.7 FM).